HAVE A HAPPY SUKKOT
Sukkot is October 2-8, and we have been reflecting on the fact that this teaches us prophetically of the fact that "If the earthly tabernacle of this flesh is dissolved, we have a building of God; a house not made with hands; eternal in the heavens." (2 Corinthians 5:1) The building of little boothes, reminds us to remain portable, and lead of the Lord.
These boothes made of branches, were built in the harvest field, so that the children of Israel could be where the harvest was, of course! The "temporary nature" of the boothes, speaks to us of the fact that our real home or dwelling place is in heaven. Ephesians 1-2, tells us that we are seated with haMashiach/Christ in heavenly places, and through His authority we administrate this on the earth. (Luke 10)
We are strangers and pilgrims in this world. For as many as are lead of the Spirit of God these are the sons of God. Sukkot reminds us to be fruitful in every good work. (Colossians 1:10)
CONSCIENCE WHEN AT WAR
At the service today one person lead in a prayer of forgiveness. I prayed for the people of the world, and that the ists of this world would see that sword in vain. (Romans 13:4)
It would be wrong for our government to respond to ist attacks against our nation with unbrideled rage, and to wipe out the nation of Afganistan and all of her peoples, for the s of 5,000 or 6,000 of our citizens. But neigher can they ignore such an assault upon the people of America. So the various government agencies, elected by the people for the protection of the people; have launched a full scale investigation, and have agreed upon the measure of response which they feel is necessary to prevent further agression. This has been a very difficult and emotionally difficult thing to deal with, for leaders, victims families and all Americans.
The pastor told of the difficult decision of the atomic at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in World War II. Had we gone in another way, our causualties would have been over a million men.
I thought this interesting in light of the following article.
President Bush has a clear political goal: the eradication of the AlQaeda ist network and the toppling of the Taliban regime that supports it. But before the Pentagon has fired a single missile at Osama bin Laden or his hosts in Afghanistan, it has signaled that its military planning is guided by an entirely new set of rules.
The war the Pentagon is planning has more do with special forces than overwhelming force. While ing attacks are very much a part of that plan, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has also stressed that the Pentagon is taking a "measured approach."
In part, the Pentagon's new approach stems from the unique challenges of going to war against Mr. bin Laden and his Taliban sponsors in Afghanistan. The rulers of that poor and bloodied nation have headquarters, military forces, airfields and supplies that can be attacked. But they lack the vast armies that the United States military has confronted in past conflicts, reducing the number of military targets.
The Pentagon's planning also reflects a larger political strategy. The administration is trying to make the case that its battle is against ists and not the Afghan people. So dropping food to starving refugees may be as important as attacks with laser-guided s.
But it is also the case that the Powell doctrine seems inappropriate for many of the ist threats that the United States is likely to confront in future years. These foes may well be tiny ist cells interspersed among civilian populations, and episodic ing runs and commando raids may be the best way of taking the fight to the enemy.
The Powell doctrine was born out of the American military's longstanding frustrations in Vietnam. In the Vietnam War, the United States gradually escalated the use of force and declared periodic pauses in its ing campaign. That gave the diplomats time to talk and the enemy, critics said, time to recoup prepare for a new round of fighting.
A generation of American officers came out of that conflict vowing never to fight that way again, and Colin L. Powell — a young Army officer in Vietnam who rose to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, now, secretary of state — was one of them.
If American force is to be used, they said, it should be overpowering and decisive. American military power would be like a thunderstorm, furious but brief and, preferably, with no entangling commitments.
The purest examples of the Powell doctrine were the 1989 invasion of Panama, when the United States military stormed the country in a several-day blitz and captured its leader, Manuel Noriega, and, of course, the 1991 war with Iraq.
Mr. Powell touted the approach in an interview before George W. Bush took office.
"Once you have established a clear political objective, then it seems to me very wise to achieve that objective, if military force is required, in a decisive way," he said. "Such as kick the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait, such as get rid of the government of Panama totally — not just kick an army out, but get rid of an entire government — that is what we did in 1989, on 12 hours' notice, with overwhelming, decisive force."
Though he has talked about the utility of overwhelming power, Secretary Powell has sometimes said his real point is that American military power needs to be decisive and used only when the political objectives are clear. Even so, the assumption has been that more force would measurably increase the odds of success. But even before the Bush administration embarked on its counterterrorism campaign, it had become clear that the Powell doctrine had its limitations.
The doctrine was sometimes a poor guide to the post-cold-war world's tangled politics and in fact deterred the United States from intervening in Bosnia as ethnic killing raged. Then-General Powell told the first President Bush that the United States would need to deploy hundreds of thousands of troops to quell the fighting in Bosnia, and the president demurred. After General Powell was succeeded as chairman of the Joint Chiefs by Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, NATO conducted limited air strikes to lift the siege of Sarajevo, which helped lay the basis for a political settlement.
Certainly, there are cases in which the Powell might still be useful. The Bush administration has made clear that it is not only going after ists but will also hold the governments that shelter them accountable as well. In those cases, American military may still be overpowering and decisive — and include every tool in the tool kit, as General Powell famously explained during the Persian Gulf war.
But in many cases the Powell doctrine seems to be an anachronism. "Unconventional approaches, obviously, are more likely and appropriate than the typical conventional approach," Mr. Rumsfeld said about Afghanistan. "There are not high- value targets. There aren't navies to attack. There are not lands to occupy and hold."
Certainly, the Pentagon is planning to use force to disable the Taliban's air defenses. That would make it easier for the American military to intensify its efforts to track Mr. bin Laden and neutralize the Taliban regime, including what military forces and bases it and the Al Qaeda ist network does have.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz has suggested that air strikes would be used to force Mr. bin Laden and his followers from their sanctuaries so they could be tracked, captured or attacked.
That puts a premium on the use of discriminate air strikes and commando units. And it is not clear that to increase the number of forces would make American military power in Afghanistan any more decisive.
In fact, the Pentagon has suggested that force alone is not sufficient. The Bush administration's broader aims, it said, depend on obtaining good intelligence from allies in the region, cutting off money to the Taliban and winning support from anti- Taliban forces inside Afghanistan, which are now the beneficiaries of covert American assistance.
More generally, Mr. Rumsfeld has likened the fight against ism to the strategy the United States had for containing Soviet power during the cold war. In a most un-Powell- like statement, he warned that there was no clear exit strategy.
"The cold war, it took 50 years, plus or minus," Mr. Rumsfeld said during his trip this week to Cairo. "It did not involve major battles. It involved continuous pressure. It involved cooperation by a host of nations."
"And when it ended, it ended not with a bang, but through internal collapse," he added. "It strikes me that might be a more appropriate way to think about what we are up against here, than would be any major conflict."
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES:
At this time of year, we celebrate the fall feasts of Israel. The scriptural passages have been impressed heavily upon our hearts. So when we got to church the message centered on Zechariah 14, Isaiah 17:1, and a great deal on not fearing or focusing on the blast of ists, nearly so much as the trumpet blasts of the Feast of Tabernacles.This to me was a wonderful thing to meditate on through the week, and in the coming days.
I wrote to our son Gabriel, some weeks ago; and said: The holidays this year, in spite of the tragedies, are going to be a blessed and happy time. I believe this! Because these center on Messiah. In addition to the age-old Jewish story of Hanukkah and eating latkes, our Hanukkah observance focuses on the miracle of Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus Christ--For He was and is the "temple cleanser" and the Light of the World;the true and miraculous source of light for all--and the joy in our home and among our friends all year; and always a precious time to share our faith with others.
THE SAME SPIRITUAL MEAT & DRINK
Tom and I felt lead to share this time of communion and experience of partaking of the table of the Lord together as a family, as well as a church family; so we gave the communion emblems to one another.
In I Corinthians 10:31, it says: "Whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God." This we will focus on during this time in which war has been declared and times in the natural can seem stressful. I Corinthians 10 is a marvellous chapter of the bible which focuses upon eating the same spiritual meat and drinking of the same spiritual drink...Mashiach/Christ. (Exodus 17:6, Numbers 20:11, Psalm 78:15-16) Of keeping this "pure" and not mingling it with what's profane, or idolatrous.
THE CATCHING AWAY OR RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH:
On the way to church found myself thinking of the doctrine of the catching up of the people of God to be with the Lord. Our daughter was asking about it earlier in the week, and I explained that the term comes from the latin Vulgate version of the bible. The term in the Greek New Testament is HARPAZO, which means literally "to catch or away."
In our english version, it says "catching up, or ing up or away," as one would in an emergency situation. It's used of Apostle Paul being "caught up to paradize," in II Corinthians 12:2,4; and of the rapture of the saints at the Lord's return, in I Thessalonians 4:17. This term is also used in Revelation 12:5.
But as we drove toward the church to attend the morning service, I found myself thinking not so much of the "catching up of the whole church;" as the miraculous catching up of individual people, such as Enoch, spoken of in Hebrews 11. Or Philip in the New Testament, who was caught up by the Spirit of the Lord and transported from one city to another 200 miles away. (Acts 8:39-40) This was the result of the faith of the individual in these cases. We can always look for Yeshua/Jesus Christ to be our personal "blessed hope," even if it may not yet be time for the entire church to be caught away, yet.